Forming the Dissertation Advisory Committee

Graduate students must, before the end of the term in which they complete their doctoral examinations, form a dissertation advisory committee. The Committee shall be composed of at least three persons who have agreed to direct the student's dissertation research. The Director of Graduate Studies should be notified in writing by the student of the composition of the Committee, using the dissertation committee confirmation form.

Committee Composition

The department requires that a majority of committee members be members of the sociology graduate faculty. One or more members of the committee may be from other departments and/or institutions. Officially, the members of the dissertation committee are appointed by the Graduate Division. See the Handbook of the Division of Graduate Education and Research for more information.

Dissertation Topics

The selection of a dissertation topic is made by the student in consultation with a dissertation chairperson and the dissertation committee.

Dissertation Proposal

Students will write a dissertation proposal that is to be defended in a meeting with the dissertation committee. The dissertation proposal should (1) clearly describe, with the help of a literature review, the sociological problem to be addressed in the dissertation; (2) introduce the particular research site chosen to investigate the problem; and (3) provide a detailed description of the methodology to be used.

Dissertation Defense

Upon satisfactory completion of the dissertation, the candidate presents a public lecture, as required by the Graduate School, and is orally examined on the dissertation by the members of the dissertation committee. The committee members must be given at least 14 calendar days between receipt of the final manuscript and the defense date.